Bomb alert: countless schools evacuated

All schools in Westerlo (Antwerp), Aarschot and Diest (both Flemish Brabant) have been evacuated following a bomb alert.

A letter found at Westerlo police station stating a bomb would explode triggered the evacuations.

Ayla Van Eechaute of the city of Diest: "All pupils have been brought together at evacuation points.  The three mayors say that they are not taking any chances."

Gwendolyn Rutten, Mayor of Aarschot notes: "If everybody goes to the evacuation points, then we can offer the greatest safety."

In Aarschot children have been taken to the local sports hall.  In Diest the local cultural centre is the venue.  In Aarschot 9,000 pupils are involved, in Diest 8,000. In all 22,000 pupils were evacuated. Most of the pupils have been able to go home in the meanwhile.

The authorities asked people visiting the area to avoid Aarschot, Diest and Westerlo to allow the police to do their work properly. A thorough search yielded nothing.